An entrepreneur who walked away from a successful career in 2018, is celebrating his gin distillery becoming the ‘Number One Thing To Do In Leamington Spa’ on Tripadvisor.
Warwickshire Gin Company’s tasting experiences have shot to the envied top spot thanks to 80 five-star reviews from visitors. Internationally it’s also made its mark, achieving the “Travellers Choice Award” which puts the Warwickshire distillery in the top 10% of businesses listed in the world based on reviews.
It marks a proud milestone for founder David Blick who established the distillery at Victoria Business Centre in 2018 after 28 years working in retail and logistics.
He admits: “I didn’t know the first thing about making gin when the idea to start a distillery first came to me whilst on holiday in Tenby. I got talking to the owner of Tenby Gin who has a shop there and asked him how he made it. He told me he used a third-party distiller – and that’s when the penny dropped. We had a steep learning curve but learned from a multi-award-winning distiller.”
Fast forward six years and David boasts a clutch of awards for his own gin and rum collection, born from ‘a desire to capture a moment in history, developing flavours to fully represent the county’s own unique story and bringing the range of hand-crafted flavours to life.’
These include Leamington on Parade, inspired by the true story of circus elephant trainer Sam Lockhart in the 1880s; The Kingmaker – named after Richard Neville 16th Earl of Warwick and Peeping Tom – inspired by the legend of Coventry’s Lady Godiva.
David said: “We have done it – the No1 Thing to do in Leamington Spa on Trip Advisor. I’m over the moon that all the hard work my team have put into our various experiences has paid off. We now have many customers visiting Warwickshire and Leamington in particular who can see the reviews and book up ahead of their visit, confident they will have a great time.
“Visitor numbers sky-rocketed last year to over 2,100 from 910 in 2022, we have already seen very strong bookings for 2024 and had to add more experience capacity to satisfy demand. In 2024 we are expecting over 3,000 visitors to our small craft distillery.”
Gin Tasting Experiences now take place on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Afternoon G&Tea on Saturdays and Sundays and Cocktails at the Distillery on Friday nights. Due to demand, David is also adding another Cocktails at the distillery session in July on a Saturday night.
He added: “Being in the Old Town area of Leamington is a handy short walk from the train station and also close to all the great bars and restaurants the town has to offer. Many decide to stay overnight or make a weekend of it.”
Gift vouchers for the experiences are also selling well, especially ahead of Valentine’s Day, when there is a Gin Tasting.
About Warwickshire Gin Company
The distillery uses a small batch method with a traditional copper pot and also boasts a range of rums as well as a vodka and offers visitor experiences – Gin Tasting, Cocktails at The Distillery and their new Afternoon Gin & Tea. A range of build-your-own branded gift bundles, including spirits, goblet, mixers and gin or rum-infused chocolates, are also available.
When the pandemic hit, in 2020, the company also diversified and produced hand sanitiser for Warwick District Council to help with nationwide shortages. They produced 5,500 litres of sanitiser on the first day of production and made it available to care homes and key workers on the frontline in the early days of lockdown.